In order to get a feeling for how the monitor works for its intended audience, I set it to FPS2, one of its "Picture Modes," and played through Crysis 3. Thanks to my new ASUS R9 290Xs, I was able to push 100+ FPS at 'Very High' settings. The monitor performed admirably in this real-world gaming test. But, the monitor is not without drawbacks. Let's cover the bad and move to the good.
I'm going to start with the menu buttons. Why you would use touch buttons is beyond me. The power button would sometimes not recognize my press, an annoying problem at best, and a downright frustrating problem at worst. The on-screen menus are, however, quite clear and easy to use, since they sit right next to the buttons.
I also found the monitor had difficulty going to sleep when plugged in via DisplayPort. When the OS signaled the system to power down the monitors, the XL2720Z would often stay powered on with a black output showing. When the computer went to sleep, powering up would often find the monitor not detected. I then had to open up the resolution properties and click "Detect Monitors" before it would turn back on and resume normal operation.
But not all about the XL2720Z is bad. In fact, the monitor has a lot going for it. The 144Hz refresh rate is excellent for FPS gaming, and certainly doesn't hurt for other games or uses. It's also decently power efficient, consuming just 25 watts at full brightness. And speaking of brightness, the monitor has a fairly high max brightness, coming in as the second brightest monitor we have tested.
The stand, too, is a highlight. It does an excellent job of keeping the monitor where you place it, and it provides an excellent array of positions through its swivel, rotation, and height adjustment features.
Furthermore, the XL2720Z provides a feature that somewhat deadens the blow of the touch-only OSD buttons. The micro-USB connection we mentioned earlier connects to a remote control that allows you to quickly switch between three saved profiles as well as allowing navigation through the OSD menus. One drawback to the controller is that it takes a bit of getting used to before being able to really use it well.
So, let's talk price. Coming in at around $450, the monitor starts to lose some of its appeal. Yes, it's a beautiful display, but if you're mostly interested in the 144Hz refresh rate, there are cheaper options out there; for instance, the AOC G2460PQU. But, if you will make use of the special features of the monitor, then it certainly is an excellent display, though there are some issues (noted above). We're just not sure it is worth the price premium placed upon it.
PRICING: You can find the BenQ XL2720Z 144Hz Monitor for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The BenQ XL2720Z 144Hz Monitor retails for $499.99 at Amazon.
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